Frequently Asked Questions about DUI Defense
DUI Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ
What blood alcohol level is considered to be over the legal limit?
In Arizona, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher is considered to be driving while intoxicated and is punishable by jail time and fines, as well as license suspension. There are several different tests that a law enforcement officer may conduct in order to determine what a driver's blood alcohol level is, including a blood test, a breath test and, for a more general idea, a field sobriety test. It is important to understand that these tests do not always yield results that 100% accurate, however, so you may have the opportunity to challenge the findings if any inconsistencies are discovered.
How long will my driver's license be suspended after being arrested for DUI?
If you have been arrested for a DUI offense involving a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more, you can expect a license suspension up to 90 days. If extreme DUI or
super extreme DUI is involved, the suspension period rises dramatically, from one year to up to 3 years. Similarly, being convicted of multiple DUI offenses may result in a longer period of suspension. After you have been arrested, however, you have the option to schedule a MVD hearing within 15 days, where you can fight for the reinstatement of your driving privileges. These proceedings are carried out in civil court and will not determine the outcome of the criminal trial.
If I am convicted, will I go to jail?
Most DUI offenses require some jail time, from 1-10 days for a regular DUI and for longer periods if other factors are involved. There are defenses a Phoenix DUI defense attorney can use to help reduce or dismiss your charges, but you must act quickly by contacting the Wallin Law Firm. In doing so, we may be able to challenge the evidence that is being used to prove your guilt and fight for leniency on your behalf. If you are faced with your second or third DUI offense, you may be facing a longer sentence, as well, so you should not hesitate to take action in the interest of your defense as soon as you have been arrested and charged.
Am I required to take a field sobriety test if asked to do so by an officer?
No, this is not legally required and we recommend that you refuse to take one. These tests are based on an objective opinion by the police officer and are often discounted. Blood or breath tests, however, cannot be refused, as they can lead to the automatic suspension of your license. In the state of Arizona, all drivers are subject to "implied consent" laws, which demand that anyone who has been pulled over under the suspicion of drunk driving consent to some form of chemical testing—whether it be a blood, breath or urine test. Refusing to do so could not only result in legal penalties, but it may be used as evidence of your guilt during a subsequent trial.
Why do I need an attorney if I am arrested?
A person can be automatically arrested and have their license suspended if they are arrested for DUI. If you do nothing to fight the charges, you stand to have a DUI conviction on your record, along with long term consequences. By retaining an attorney, you have the opportunity to fight the charges and possibly have them reduced or dismissed. This may help you to avoid a license suspension, as well, as they may be able to present your case to a judge during a MVD hearing and request that your driving privileges be reinstated. For this reason, it is highly advised that you do not disregard the importance of retaining the services of an experienced DUI lawyer.
Can I challenge the results of a breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test?
If you believe that the findings of a breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test are inaccurate, it is your right to conduct an investigation into their validity. Many people are unaware of the fact that these tests are not always accurate, as a wide variety of factors can contribute to a false reading or skewed scoring. If a law enforcement officer does not properly administer a field sobriety test or they have not calibrated the breathalyzer machine regularly, the subsequent evidence may be inadmissible in a court of law. For this reason, it is important to enlist the help of a DUI attorney that is experienced in examining and challenging such evidence.